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The Price of Fashion: our exclusive Q&A with the Chair Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh MP

What are the three points that you would like Defra to pick up on?

A: It is essential for Defra, and the Government as a whole, to understand that the way we make, use and throwaway our clothes is unsustainable. Our excessive fashion consumption is causing a waste problem both in the UK and overseas.

Defra should make fashion retailers take responsibility for the textile waste they create by introducing an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for textiles and reward companies that take positive action to reduce waste. The Government’s recent pledge to review and consult on how to deal with textile waste by 2025 is too little too late. We need action before the end of this parliament (2022).  

We would also like to see the Department consider whether it could apply its promised tax on virgin plastics to synthetic garments that don’t contain recycled plastic.  

Defra should also bring together fashion retailers, water companies and washing machine manufacturers to work together to solve the problem of microfibre pollution. We need changes in the law to end the era of throwaway fashion.